10/10/21 – Buses, Brutes and Brakes

A mixed update this week with progress on the recently donated Brute trolleys and the Bogie Bolster; plus showing off the Test Car again.

Hi all, after two and a half years working with the Quorn Wagon & Wagon team they’ve finally let me loose putting together a weekly update…so here goes.

Firstly we’re still passing ‘get well soon’ wishes to Matt and Richard, hope to see you both back with us very soon.

Saturday we were requested to have the Test Car open for visitors in conjunction with the bus-rally at Quorn.

Preparations for the day included the fitting of the slip/coupling and wagon mounted test equipment that helps visitors get a better understanding of how the test process used to work.

The fabulous weather and large collection of buses drew good crowds, quite a few of which visited us in the Test Car. I was kept busy most of the day explaining the history of the Test Car and the process of slip/brake testing.

Whilst I was entertaining visitors Jake, Ross and Nick set to work on the growing collection of Brute trolleys, four of which arrived recently after a very kind donation.

Brutes galore

Each Brute was cleaned down, any seized brakes released and a start was made on trying to straighten out some of the bent framework.

Sunday, and Ross Nick and myself turned out attentions to the Bogie Bolster D, B928135 and it’s brakes. This wagon has two 18″ vacuum brake cylinders, one for each bogie; we focussed on the north end one first.


The cylinder piston rod was removed, trunion bolts loosened and the cylinder extracted from the wagon with the help of the Volvo. This involved inverting the cylinder in its mounting to provide clearance to extract the lower trunion bolt.

This cylinder was found to be in very good internal order, only requiring a thorough clean before replacing the rolling-ring and vacuum chamber sealing ring.

The cylinder was re-assembled, carefuly lowering the piston with new rolling-ring down the cylinder before re-fitting the vacuum chamber and bolting up.

A piston transit bolt was fitted in place of the piston-rod to ensure the piston remains correctly in-place whilst it is re-fitted to the wagon. This is necessary because the vacuum cylinder must be inverted to allow re-fitting of the lower trunion bolt.

The piston-rod was then polished and once the cylinder had been re-fitted under the north end of the wagon, the transit bolt was removed and the piston-rod re-fitted along with a new gaiter. A release valve from our stock of overhauled ones was also fitted and the branch pipe condition checked before re-connecting.

Ross and Nick then took a look at the north-end brake rigging where it had been noted that some adjustment was needed. After alot of head scratching it looks very much like the cylindrical slack adjuster is not doing its job and will need to be attended to.

In the meantime I turned my attention to a spare 18″ vacuum brake cylinder we had awaiting overhaul. The idea being to deal with this now so it’s ready for fitting to the south-end of the Bolster D once we can access to that side of the wagon.

The cylinder was dismantled and all parts thoroughly cleaned, the interior condition again being very good.

Once clean a new rolling-ring was fitted and the piston carefully lowered into the cylinder before fitting a new vacuum chamber seal and re-assembling.

The transit bolt was again fitted; the finished vacuum cylinder including a piston rod and an overhauled release valve are now ready for the south end of the wagon.

Vac cylinder for the south-end

To finish I’d like to mention that last week a photo charter took place on the GCR using visiting 9F 92134 from the North York Moors railway. During the charter a freight was operated providing a fantastic showcase for over 30 of our group’s wagons. A youtube video can be seen here :-

Next weekend were are hoping to see the return of the Mess Coach back to Quorn. See how we get on in next week’s update.

Author: Dave Bower

Retired Rail Vehicle Testing Engineer and Railway Author

7 thoughts on “10/10/21 – Buses, Brutes and Brakes”

  1. Dave, couldn’t find the link for the you tube video. The one with 30 wagons.


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